SWINDON were dumped out of the League Cup in the first round as Charlton Athletic came away 3-1 winners at the County Ground.

Goals from Macauley Bonne, Charlie Barker and Chuks Aneke left Town’s cup hopes in tatters once again as the first competitive game without fans was played in Wiltshire.

Jonny Smith’s excellent solo effort had tied the game up midway through the second half, however Charlton responded strongly to book their place in the second round.

The defeat was bitter-sweet for Richie Wellens as it signalled a seventh cup defeat since taking over as manager, though it did free up an extra Tuesday in September to prepare his squad for an assault on League One.

Opting not to risk the returning Mathieu Baudry or Dion Conroy from the start, Wellens selected his strongest starting line-up for the first round cup match against the Addicks.

Manchester United loanee Matej Kovar began the match in goal behind a back four of Rob Hunt, Akin Odimayo, Zeki Fryers and Ellis Iandolo.

All League Two winners with Town last season, Jordan Lyden, Anthony Grant and Michael Doughty started in a midfield trio with Diallang Jaiyesimi, Jack Payne and Tyler Smith ahead of them.

Play started brightly enough at the County Ground with both sides playing the ball around sharply in a trying opening segment of play.

Jaiyesimi was the first to set his sights though, wiggling his way out of trouble in the centre before dragging a left-footed shot narrowly wide of Ben Amos’ left-hand post from just outside the box.

Charlton’s Erhun Oztumer then tested Kovar for the first time after a quarter of an hour, curling a left-footed shot of his own into the Czech’s torso.

The Turkish winger was shown a yellow card for denying Michael Doughty the chance to take a quick free-kick as the balance of power shifted back towards the centre.

Macauley Bonne headed straight at Kovar from a free-kick in the 25th minute before finding the net ten minutes later.

A long ball forward from Ben Purrington caught out Odimayo and the Charlton striker shrugged off the covering Iandolo before rifling a volley over Kovar and into the top right corner of the net.

Town did have a glorious chance to equalise before the break though as Lyden received a pass from Jaiyesimi down the left side of the box before squaring across goal.

Unfortunately for Swindon however, Payne was just pipped to the ball by a visiting defender and the danger was cleared.

The second half began with Jordan Lyden being forced off due to a probable muscle injury, Jonny Smith replaced him as Town switched to a 4-2-3-1 formation.

The change in shape appeared to breed some success as Tyler Smith burst past Charlie Barker and saw his shot deflected into the side netting.

Town continued their resurgence as Payne went close twice in a matter of minutes after an underwhelming first 45.

First, the winger collected a quick free-kick from Rob Hunt and skipped towards goal before seeing his shot bounce off a Charlton leg and go out for a corner.

Moments later, Payne’s drive from distance forced Amos into a smart low save - reacting once again as Jonny Smith struck towards the near post.

Midway through the second half, Town did find an equaliser that they thoroughly deserved.

Centre-back Odimayo fired a long ball down the right flank which was taken down brilliantly by substitute Jonny Smith before the winger continued his run towards goal.

The Bristol City loanee faked to shoot twice, finally sliding the ball into the bottom corner from around the penalty spot.

Despite the goal, Swindon did not make the most of their momentum and Charlton edged in front once again in the 74th minute.

A long free-kick was headed down by substitute Chuks Aneke for 17-year-old Charlie Barker to head his first senior goal past Kovar unchallenged.

And as Swindon pushed for an equaliser in the final portion of the game, Kovar stood up brilliantly to deny Alfie Doughty one-on-one as time expired.

Yet, in the final seconds of the game, Chuks Aneke slammed home a third for Charlton, beating Town’s stopper at his near post to settle the tie.